Cover image for The genius of Shakespeare
The genius of Shakespeare
Bate, Jonathan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xiv, 384 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Who is Shakespeare? What is he? -- A life of anecdote -- Shakespeare's autobiographical poems? -- The authorship controversy -- Marlowe's ghost -- Shakespeare's peculiarity -- The Shakespeare effect -- The original genius -- The national poet -- All the world his stage -- From character to icon -- The laws of the Shakespearean universe.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR2937 .B38 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This fascinating book by one of Britain's most acclaimed young Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of Shakespeare's work. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship, asking, for example, Who was Shakespeare, based on the little documentary evidence we have? Which works really are attributable to him? And how extensive was the influence of Christopher Marlowe? Bate goes on to trace Shakespeare's canonization and near- deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literate cultures across the globe.

Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequalled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work.

Author Notes

Jonathan Bate was born June 26, 1958. He is a British biographer, broadcaster, and leading Shakespeare scholar. He studied at Sevenoaks School, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. At Cambridge, he was a Fellow of Trinity Hall. While studying at Harvard, he held a Harness Fellowship.

Bate is a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. He was previously King Alfred Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. He has also lectured at various universities in the United States. Bate is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature. He made the Samuel Johnson 2015 shortliast with his title Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life .

Bate lives near Stratford-upon-Avon and is married to author and biography, Paula Byrne. They have three children.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Part One Who is Shakespeare? What is he?
1 A Life of Anecdote
2 Shakespeare's Autobiographical Poems?
3 The Authorship Controversy
4 Marlowe's Ghost
5 Shakespeare's Peculiarity
Part Two The Shakespeare Effect
6 The Original Genius
7 The National Poet
8 All the World His Stage
9 From Character to Icon
10 The Laws of the Shakespearean Universe